With a revamped space and an updated tasting menu in Charlotte NC, bardo provides a dining experience unlike any other in Charlotte.
The restaurant industry has always been full of risk-takers, from chefs and mixologists pushing their limits to the owners funding innovations. Everyone involved in this industry understands stability isn’t guaranteed. This point has become all the more apparent in the wake of the pandemic.
The pandemic created a special kind of volatility that caused even long-established restaurant groups to question their future. Bardo was no exception. Bardo stayed afloat throughout the pandemic and is still going strong today. However, the restaurant’s managing team still had a lot to consider when it came to bardo’s next steps.
“After the pandemic,” says owner and Head Chef Mike Noll, “we wanted to change, and we wanted to elevate. We always wanted to do a tasting menu, and we thought this was the perfect time to try.”
The Plot Twist
Unlike a traditional restaurant menu, a tasting menu in Charlotte NC gives all patrons the same predetermined dishes. Typically, these dishes are arranged in a multi-course meal. At bardo, they take things a step further. The restaurant doesn’t show patrons what they’re having until they get to the restaurant.
“We like keeping the menu a surprise for the dining experience,” notes Chef Noll. “And after the meals, they’re presented with a printed menu.”
While some might hesitate at the thought of not knowing what will be on their plate, others have embraced the idea of trusting bardo’s culinary team with all the decisions. Those that do have found that their five-course meals were well worth stepping out of their comfort zones, especially with the addition of their drink pairings. By bringing level 2 sommelier James Nelson on board, the culinary team at bardo has already begun updating their available drink lists.
Adapting High and Low
But the team at bardo didn’t stop their updates at just introducing a tasting menu. In order to truly elevate their restaurant out of the pandemic era, they had to look everywhere for possible improvements. That’s when they set their eyes on the décor.
“We wanted the food to be the show and not the décor,” says Chef Noll.
To achieve that, they decided to tone down the elegance and give it a more urban, casual feeling by adding graffiti-styled art to the walls. The atmosphere created by these subtle updates not only helps to limit distractions, but also eases any potential nervousness from anticipating each course.
Those looking to try bardo’s five-course meals for themselves can make a reservation on their website. They can even book a party or other private event in bardo’s dining space. The restaurant changes the menu every two months based on the availability of seasonal ingredients. So, there’s always something new to come try.